The Pakistan hockey team’s dream of reaching the semifinals at the 19th Asian Games faced a significant setback during an intense showdown against Japan in Hangzhou, China, on Monday.
Japan secured their spot in the semifinals with a narrow 3-2 victory over Pakistan in a closely fought contest.
The match began with a quick breakthrough from Pakistan’s star striker, Arshad Liaquat, who scored a field goal in the 5th minute, giving his team an early advantage.
However, Japan responded promptly, equalizing with a field goal in the 6th minute through a penalty corner conversion.
Japan then took the lead in the 17th minute and extended it with another penalty corner goal in the 28th minute. Pakistan managed to reduce the deficit, with Arbaaz Ahmed successfully converting a penalty corner.
Both teams had their opportunities with penalty corners, with Pakistan converting one out of three chances, while Japan capitalized on two out of their three penalty corners.
In the Asian Games hockey competition, a total of twelve teams are participating, divided into two pools. Pool A consists of teams from India, Japan, Bangladesh, Singapore, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan, while Pool B features teams from Korea, Malaysia, China, Oman, Thailand, and Indonesia.